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Innovation

125 Years of Improving Mobility

It takes deep knowledge of tyres and leading tyre technologies to combine conflicting performance characteristics successfully: our know-how works to your advantage.

Innovation is Second Nature to Us

It infuses each step of the complex tyre-making process:

- While preparing the basic components, we are not content only using pre-existing materials, we develop our own;
- To make and test tyres, we often build our own machines.

We see each step as an opportunity to give you better tyres.
And we don’t miss one.

Our Tyres Just Keep Getting Better

By focusing on finding new solutions for your driving needs, our technologies and
innovations have profoundly shaped past and present tyres.
Today, we continue our commitment to imagine the future of mobility.

  • 1895

    The first car fitted with air-filled tyres!

    The Michelin Brothers apply their know-how from bicycle tyres to car tyres. They install the first air-filled tyres on their racing car “Lightning”.

  • 1913

    The Removable Steel-Wheel (The Pre-Spare tyre)

    Michelin introduces the idea of an emergency tyre. Who would drive without one today?

  • 1937

    The Pilot® tyre

    Michelin launches a tyre for skilled drivers and high-performance cars. It is positioned lower to the ground and is a forerunner of the late twentieth century low-profile tyres.

  • 1937

    The Metallic tyre

    Its name says it all: in 1937, we used steel cable as a tyre reinforcement. This will eventually revolutionise the world of tyres.

  • 1946

    The Radial tyre

    A different structure improving safety and fuel consumption. A revolution that all tyre makers will embrace.

  • 1992

    The Green tyre

    Michelin integrates silica instead of carbon black, improving energy efficiency while enhancing safety and increasing longevity.

  • 2004

    The Tweel® (“Tyre” + “Wheel”)

    This tyre can’t explode or puncture: it’s not filled with air but with polymer spokes.

  • 2004

    The Active Wheel (electric)

    This wheel integrates an electric suspension system, electric traction engine and disk brake.

  • 2012

    The Communicating tyre

    RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips are embedded in tyres to increase safety and efficiency.

    Tested for the first time at the 2012 London Olympics.

  • 2014

    The EverGrip™ technology

    This technology allows a tyre to evolve as it is being used, performing even when it’s worn. A “safe worn tyre” that grips even on wet roads! *

    * Safe refers to wet braking, wet handling and hydroplaning resistance when tyres are new and worn to 5/32”.

R&D is in our DNA

Our first scientist was hired in 1893. The impact was so great that from that point, we knew that Research and Development would be key to the evolution of the modern tyre.
Today, 6,600 R&D people strive so that your changing mobility needs are always met, researching chemistry, physics, new technologies and testing prototypes. Our hubs are located on three continents and in seven countries: China, France, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and the United States.

 

Our commitment in a few numbers:

  • 350

    Different fields of expertise involved (collaborative thinking sparks innovative ideas)

  • 10,000

    Active patents that protect our innovations

  • 250

    Patents submitted each year.

  • 40 000

    Times per year we circle the earth through our road and machine tests - that's once every 12 minutes!

A Lab on the Track, A Lab on Fast Forward

Motorsports is driving’s toughest innovation lab, and we’ve been experimenting
in it for over a century.

The pressure is high.
For each race, we need to deliver performance characteristics adapted to each
racing partner and for different racing conditions.
Afterwards, we examine how our findings could benefit more people.
So you can be sure that if it can handle the racetrack, it will handle your drive.

 

Our Le Mans Lab:

  • 90Years of experience

  • 23 Wins of the 24 hours of Le Mans

  • 17 Consecutive wins

 

Our World Rally Lab:

  • 40 Years of experience

  • 21 World Rally Championships driver titles

  • 23 World Rally Championships car Manufacturer titles

 

Our Formula E Lab:

Starting in 2014, the new Formula E for electric cars will challenge us in
developing top-level racing tyres for this new breed of cars.